Wednesday, December 31, 2014

La Salle tops struggling Penn in 2014 Big 5 finale

Philadelphia, PA -- Jordan Price led the way with 18 points as the La Salle Explorers defeated the Penn Quakers, 84-67, in the final Big 5 contest of calendar year 2014 on Tuesday night in North Philly.

For the Explorers (8-5), Steve Zack added 17 points, nine rebounds and five assists, Amar Stukes and Jerrell Wright each scored 13 and Cleon Roberts chipped in with 12 points as the hosts recorded their fourth win in five outings. 

Darien Nelson-Henry paced the Quakers (3-7) with 15 points while Tony Hicks finished with 10 points.

Both teams shot the ball well in the opening stanza, but it was the Explorers who led at the break, 47-35. La Salle shot 58.1 percent from the field in the half, including 4-of-9 from 3-point range. Penn connected on 56 percent of its field goal tries, including 2-of-4 from beyond the arc.

In the second half, the Explorers continued to knock down their shots, hitting on 50 percent from the field, including 2-of-6 from beyond the arc. 

The Quakers tried to keep pace, shooting 48 percent from the field and 2-of-5 from 3-point distance. Penn was never able to seriously challenge La Salle in the second half, as the Explorers' lead grew to as many as 22, giving them the easy victory over their crosstown rival.

La Salle dominated down low, outscoring Penn in the paint, 48-34. The Explorers also finished with a 35-21 rebounding edge for the game. They'll open up Atlantic 10 play this Saturday at George Mason then come home to face UMass on Jan. 7. 

The Quakers have 11 days off before commencing their Ivy League slate, Jan. 10 on the road against Princeton.

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